The out-going Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has revealed how the court rebuffed attempts by certain groups to stop President Muhammadu Buhari and some members of the National Assembly from contesting in the 2015 general elections.
Auta also said that the court stood firm by insisting that every candidate must be allowed to test his or her popularity. The out-going chief judge, who spoke at the special court session to mark the commencement of 2017/2018 Federal High Court Legal Year, however, noted that it was the insistence of the court that kept the country together during and after the elections.
“Despite all pressures to stop certain members of the National Assembly as a result of their abandonment of the party that brought them to power, the court insisted that every candidate must be allowed to test his or her popularity.
“The Federal High Court refused to declare vacant the seat of any member. Secondly, the attempt to stop the President from contesting was rejected by this court. This is because we in the Federal High Court preferred a level-playing ground for all candidates,” Auta stated.
Besides, the out-going CJ stated that the court ensured the appointment of 30 judges, which according to him, impacted so well on the court and the overall dispensation of justice.
He said that the process towards the appointment of 10 more judges for the court was about 80 per cent completed. He, therefore, charged judges of the court to remain steadfast in their dispensation of justice without fear or favour.
In a similar vein, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), stated that the Federal High Court had contributed immensely to effective and efficient justice delivery in the country.
Malami, represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayi Akpata, noted that an efficient and incorruptible judiciary was imperative for meaningful development in the country.
He, therefore, urged judges of the Federal High Court to disperse justice in a firm and fair manner, and in accordance with the law to increase people’s confidence in the judiciary.